• Blitzkrieg

  • From the Ground Up
  • By: Niklas Zetterling
  • Narrated by: Roger Clark
  • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (59 ratings)

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Blitzkrieg

By: Niklas Zetterling
Narrated by: Roger Clark
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Publisher's Summary

The successes of the German Blitzkrieg in 1939-41 were as surprising as they were swift. Allied decision-makers wanted to discover the secret to German success quickly, even though only partial, incomplete information was available to them. The false conclusions drawn became myths about the Blitzkrieg that have lingered for decades.  

It has been argued that German victories in the early part of the war rested less upon newly developed tanks and aircraft and more on German military traditions: Rather than creating a new way of war based on new technology, the Germans fitted the new weapons into their existing ideas on warfare. The conduct of German soldiers, particularly the lower-ranking men, on the battlefield was at the core of the concept, and German victories rested upon the quality of the small combat units.   

This book focuses on the experience of the enlisted men and junior officers in the Blitzkrieg operations in Poland, Norway, Western Europe, and Russia. Military historian Niklas Zetterling explores how they operated, for example, how a company commander led his tanks, how a crew worked together inside a tank, and the role of the repair services. The author fits these narratives into a broader perspective to give the listener a better understanding of why the Germans were so successful in 1939-41.

©2017 Niklas Zetterling (P)2019 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Blitzkrieg

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An interesting perspective

This book is written from the diaries and historical accounts of the soldiers who fought in the various blitzkrieg campaigns. It is not so much a matter of academic history as it is a personal account of specified German soldiers in each campaign. From that standpoint it is much more interesting than a raw historical academic treatise.

3 people found this helpful

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Enlisted man perspective

“Blitzkrieg From the Ground up” is definitely that. Told through the eyes of the regular German enlisted man, it’s not a book about commanders and generals. This is Blitzkrieg at its fundamental level. And it was most successful. However there were serious miscalculations, especially when it came to underestimating the Soviet military strength. Hitler thought they would come in and run roughshod. That absolutely did not happen, and as proven over and over again, Barbarossa was the beginning of the end for Germany. Blitzkrieg wasn’t a new concept either for the Germans, more a culmination of years of military theory strategy that was acted out in 1939 with some success and failure.

1 person found this helpful

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A good blow-by-blow account, close to the action

A few glamorized technologies (such as pinpoint Stuka bombing and new Panzers) could not carry the day alone. The human element was huge, from command styles down to infantry.

This book opens with a lot of accounts of the early war from the view of mid-level officers in the field. The descriptions of the locations were good enough so that, even without maps at hand, I did not feel entirely "lost at sea," which easily happens with this type of book. Likewise the editing did not wander too far off the track, which I appreciate. I can't stand filler!

At about the stage of turning toward the USSR campaign, the author pulls back and makes some summation of what had been discovered, against a broader European backdrop. It seems the German high command did this at that stage too. the quality of this book in portraying both a narrow and wide picture, improved as I listened onward. For me it succeeded in all ways.

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I'm going to.

I'm going to listen to the book again. I listen to many books concerning just about every aspect of WWIII. Grate listen if you are just starting out with WWIII.

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Amazing journey

This is a must for any German WWII fan, great details and focus only on battles and war strategy and how it was implemented through BLITZKRIEG, the only annoying thing is the narrator were he sounded like a news reporter reading facts and figures; yet you get used to it in no time and enjoy the details. Also a map of the battles is really a must have with this audio book, you tend to get lost on the locations and the direction of the battles and tactics.
Overall a great listen, well done.

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Great personal stories of the wehrmacht

If your a fan of the German wehrmacht then u will injoy this book. Nothing groundbreaking, however it covers alot of the tic for tack side of things from Poland to gates of Moscow.

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  • Eirik
  • 08-05-21

Horrendous pronunciations and repetitive narrative

I couldn’t finish this book. The narrator have not made any attempts on making any research on the pronunciations of the many locations names, ship names and individual names used in the book, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, is of mainly German, Polish, Norwegian, Dutch, French and Russian origin. For a listener which do try to follow along, it was impossible as I couldn’t even begin to understand who he was talking about and where we were geographically.

As for the story, it is mostly based upon many low-level survivor accounts and diary entries by German soldiers. It does try to keep it on a sub-tactical level, but it does elevate up to the operational and strategic level enough of the time, ending in a narrative heard so many times before.

Also, I do wish the author would stop using the word “however” in every third or fourth sentence. It does become quite repetitive in the audio book format.

1 person found this helpful